In the final days of October, 2019, Nigerian artists, Sarz and Wurld gathered the industry for a listening party. It was a cool Thursday evening, but the amount of people decked in that open-air venue aroused ‘heat.’
As Nigerians, we like to bang on about the ‘immaterial nature’ of lyrics in a society that prioritizes dance tracks and ‘lamba’ over what society ordinarily deems ‘good music.’ Asides how any brand or genre of music can be ‘good,’ there is also a lot of truth to our collective sentiment towards dance music. Our society is hard enough.
The same reason why beer sells at breakneck speed is the same reason we love dance music – it is a for a subconscious need to forget all the ‘trobuls’ and sway even momentarily. But since Lagos-born and Atlanta-bred Wurld returned with his Love Is Contagious EP, he has been able to successfully unite two worlds.
One one side, his percussion and arrangements are a lo-fi representation of afrobeats and the dance music we love. His melodies are a stitch in sonic times for relatability. Then lyrically, he finds a way to still retain substance and tell love stories without the more recognizable obsession with adlibs and expletives by our pop stars.
Then he met Sarz, a guy who is easily top three greatest Nigerian music producers over the past two decades. In his words, they made great music from they first day they met. In 2018, they released a video for a single titled, ‘TROBUL.‘ It came a few months after Sarz released his EP with the humble-brag title, Sarz Is Not Your Mate.
Instantly, one could foresee the inevitability of a dope collaborative project. Some things ‘enter’ and some things ‘miss,’ but this project was never going to miss. It might not have what Nigeria refers as a ‘hit,’ but it will be enough to effectively throw a show. It is music with cult-attraction and the markings of a niche, yet profitable attraction.
On November 8, 2019, that EP dropped. It is the much-touted 8-track I Love Girls With Trobul, a subtle ode to the magic of problematic relationships. Lyrically, Wurld is a master purveyor of love; a conjurer of words for picture-esque representation. He commendably explores Sarz’s endless sonic fields of different attractions.
For his part, Sarz visits different times and genres for a well-rounded project. As the title implies, he touches the realistic facets of a typical experience with a problematic woman; love, passion, sex, ego, constant anger and an inevitable longing.
Women with trouble are loveable and addictive, they sexually memorable, they can be beautiful, they have problematic friends and they can be toxic. Inevitably, the relationship ends. However, their toxicity is only second to the passion they evoke.
As Wurld sings on the afro-folk and afrobeat-influenced ‘PRISONA,’ he is a prisoner and prisoner in this troublesome woman’s world. He craves freedom, but his will for freedom is only second to his thirst for this passion. It is a worthy opener that sets the tone for the stories that unfold. One at a time, different stories about a loveable woman unfold.
‘TROBUL‘ is an afro&B song on which Wurld continues his declaration. While ‘PRISONA‘ might have been filled a momentary need to escape the love, ‘TROBUL‘ is a total acceptance of a flawed woman with all her baggage. If you have ever been with ‘girls with trobul,’ you understand this song. ‘SWEAT’ is a story of the infectious sex that accompanies relationships with women like this.
On this one, Sarz drops a beat that merges pon pon with afro&B while aided by beautiful bongos and distorted bass riffs that runs through the song’s hook. ‘SWEAT‘ is by far the best song on this EP. By genre, ‘FOCUS’ travels continent with the stride of a concord jet. The beat is dancehall and on it, Wurld is a love pleading that a lover stays.
He admits his weaknesses and hopes she stays. He wants her to make him the focus. Unknown to him though, it feels like her toxic trait is out to play. ‘MAD‘ comes next and ladies and gentlemen, Sarz went crazy on a beat that merges a slower dancehall percussion with afrobeats and the distorted bass riffs on ‘SWEAT into one song.
Love with a troublesome women begets constantly getting ‘gaslit.’ You constantly blame yourself about every fault as you fight for the love. But more importantly, there’s “mad sex” involved. The song is an idea.
Then comes an interlude about lays foundation for ‘EGO.’ It deals with a typical ‘break’ scenario between a couple. Sadly, both parties are unsure of the distance. Wurld talks about a woman’s reluctance to make the first move when she wants to.
Also importantly, Wurld admits his own fault in causing the distance, but instead chooses not to call because she will listen to her friends and not call him anyways – even though she wants to.
At the end, it’s becomes persuasive that the entire EP might be about a fictional character named ‘SADE.’ She is good, yet imperfect. This song is about the events following ‘EGO.’ The couple break-up. But even with her ‘trobul,’ Wurld’s character still longs for ‘SADE.’ The beat is very afro.
No amount of writing can do justice to this EP. This writer appreciates it when intricate details are followed – even to the track list. This EP does that. There is barely any weakness on it and that’s saying a lot. Even the track listing sequentially helps a relatable story unfold.
It also aids the transcendence of that story. This is not just an album, it’s an experience nigh a short movie. If you can follow it, I promise you it’s worth it.
Does this EP deserve top marks? It does, but we shall award it just yet. For one, the production on ‘SWEAT‘ is remotely similar to that on ‘MAD.‘
As a side note, Wurld’s Love Is Contagious and its brand of afro-fusion is grundnorm for a new wave of afrobeats that aids substance and storytelling. This brand birthed Davido‘s ‘Blow My Mind,’ Chris Brown‘s ‘Lower Body‘ and it’s set to get bigger in 2020.
Some might criticize this EP’s potential lack of a ‘hit,’ but it was not created for ‘hits.’ In the end, Wurld’s message is simple and it’s that; Love is not perfect, if it was, we would all be in it. But nonetheless, you should never be afraid to fight for it when you are in it.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Lyricism, Themes and Songwriting: 1.9/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.7/2